Vigil at West Virginia Capitol remembers lives lost in flood

People came to the West Virginia Capitol on Saturday, June 25, 2016 for a vigil to remember flood victims. One of the victims people paid tribute to was Joni Adams, who was an avid runner and served as a longtime teacher at South Charleston Middle School. (WCHS/WVAH)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) - Candles lit up the front of the West Virginia Capitol Saturday evening as people came together to support each other and remember so many lives that were lost in this week's floods.

Each person had his or her own story to tell. People came forward to speak about their loved ones who were lost. They wrote messages to their families, friends and state. When the sun set, they lit each candle.

A few people were there for beloved former South Charleston Middle School teacher Joni Adams. Adams was a longtime member of the Charleston Distance Run Committee and an avid runner. Adams' colleagues and people who knew her when they were students told Eyewitness News they had a hard time believing the news of her death.

"She was a remarkable woman," said Maria Moss Davidson. "I think -- especially the way our state can be stereotyped -- we need to celebrate those people who have lived here and have fought those stereotypes."

At the end of that vigil, someone said they couldn't leave the Capitol without singing "Country Roads." The gathering concluded with everyone joining in on John Denver's classic song.

It was a somber scene at the Capitol, but people, many of whom had never met before, came together to support each other in their time of need.

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